Latest Hugo Chavez News

  • Opposition hopeful as Venezuela sets legislative vote
    Opposition hopeful as Venezuela sets legislative vote Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    Venezuela will hold legislative elections December 6, officials said Monday, setting a date after weeks of pressure from opposition groups hoping to deal President Nicolas Maduro's socialist party a crippling defeat. More »

  • Venezuela to hold parliamentary election on December 6
    Venezuela to hold parliamentary election on December 6 Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's parliamentary election will be held on Dec. 6, authorities announced on Monday, ending lengthy speculation over the date for a vote that surveys showed was likely to punish the ruling socialists. President Nicolas Maduro's ruling Socialist Party currently enjoys a majority in the 167-seat National Assembly, but an economic crisis including widespread shortages and roaring inflation has hurt the government's popularity. Pressure had been mounting on the National Electoral Council (CNE), with two jailed politicians and dozens of students staging partial hunger strikes to demand a date. More »

  • Colombia protests Venezuela fixing of maritime border
    Colombia protests Venezuela fixing of maritime border Sun, Jun 21, 2015

    Colombia's foreign ministry has sent a letter of protest to neighbouring Venezuela after the government of President Nicolas Maduro decreed maritime borders in a disputed area of the Atlantic Ocean, a ministry source said on Saturday. Venezuela's Decree 1787, approved May 26 creates Operating Zones of Integral Maritime and Insular Defense, or Zodimain, and is meant to bolster Venezuela's national defence system. "In the past few hours Colombia presented a letter of protest to the Venezuelan government because of the fixing of maritime borders to strengthen their offensive system," a spokesman from the foreign ministry told Reuters. More »

  • Venezuela legislators slam Brazil counterparts' prison visit
    Venezuela legislators slam Brazil counterparts' prison visit Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    By Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party legislators called a trip by Brazilian senators to visit jailed opponents of President Nicolas Maduro "abusive" and "meddling" on Friday. The Brazilian senators had hoped to visit detained politicians including hardline leader Leopoldo Lopez, on a partial hunger strike in a military prison, and Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma, who is under house arrest. Members of Maduro's Socialist Party said the half-dozen Brazilians were part of a right-wing international conspiracy. More »

  • Venezuela's Maduro calls Donald Trump a 'thief'
    Venezuela's Maduro calls Donald Trump a 'thief' Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro lashed out Thursday at US billionaire and presidential candidate Donald Trump for saying Mexican immigrants were bringing crime and drugs to the United States. More »

  • Swiss say stray Venezuela golf balls violate Vienna Convention
    Swiss say stray Venezuela golf balls violate Vienna Convention Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    By Girish Gupta CARACAS (Reuters) - A dispute has been tee'd off between Switzerland's ambassador to Venezuela and a neighboring elite golf club, after a banner appeared at the diplomat's residence warning that golf balls injuring or killing anyone inside would violate the Vienna Convention. The large placard, located on the residence's fence near the third of the Caracas Country Club's 18 holes, begins by explaining that the residence is considered Swiss territory. "Launching balls into this residence is a danger to whoever is within Swiss territory and a violation of the Vienna Convention if a golf ball injures or kills anyone on Swiss soil." Ambassador Sabine Ulmann told Reuters she had nothing to say on the matter. More »

  • U.S., Venezuelan officials meet in Haiti, continue quiet diplomacy
    U.S., Venezuelan officials meet in Haiti, continue quiet diplomacy Sun, Jun 14, 2015

    By Girish Gupta CARACAS (Reuters) - A U.S. envoy has met Venezuela's second most powerful official in Haiti in a further sign of rapprochement between the ideological foes, according to Venezuelan state media. Thomas Shannon, counsellor to Secretary of State John Kerry, has emerged in recent months as a go-between for Caracas and Washington, visiting Venezuela a couple of times for low-profile meetings with President Nicolas Maduro. In the worst flare-up since Maduro came to power, Venezuela earlier this year accused Washington of plotting a coup, ordered it to reduce its embassy staff and imposed a visa requirement on U.S. visitors. More »

  • Radicalism spells chaos for Venezuela, says 'Chavismo' defector
    Radicalism spells chaos for Venezuela, says 'Chavismo' defector Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    By Andrew Cawthorne and Diego Ore BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela (Reuters) - When state governor Henri Falcon abandoned Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party in 2010 and later joined the opposition, he was pilloried as a "traitor" by former pal and then president Hugo Chavez. Now, it is opposition hardliners who insult him with that same word as Falcon promotes dialogue with Chavez's successor, President Nicolas Maduro, in a bid to ease political hatreds and an economic crisis in the South American OPEC nation. The alternative is chaos," Falcon told Reuters on Thursday after addressing a student rally in Barquisimeto, capital of Lara state that he governs. More »

  • Venezuela cites Colombia ambassador over former Spanish PM plane use
    Venezuela cites Colombia ambassador over former Spanish PM plane use Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    Venezuela said on Tuesday it had cited Colombia's ambassador for an explanation of why the neighbouring country flew out a former Spanish prime minister who had travelled to Caracas to support the opposition. President Nicolas Maduro's government is furious over the visit of Felipe Gonzalez, Spain's longest-serving prime minister, to meet with the opposition bloc in support of jailed politicians Leopoldo Lopez and Daniel Ceballos. "Unfortunately I was taken aback with the news that a plane of the Colombian Air Force assigned to the presidency of the Colombian Republic came to take him out of the country," Maduro said on state television. More »

  • Century-old Guyana-Venezuela border spat flares after Exxon find Mon, Jun 8, 2015

    By Neil Marks GEORGETOWN, Guyana (Reuters) - Guyana's new government on Monday attacked a decree by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro which it said seeks to annex Guyanese maritime space in the wake of an oil discovery. The dispute between the South American neighbours goes back to the early 19th Century and has resurged after an offshore oil discovery by ExxonMobil Corp last month. The decree creates a theoretical new "defence" zone offshore that would, in Venezuela's eyes, leave the former British colony with no direct access to the Atlantic. More »

  • Independent makes history in Mexico governor race
    Independent makes history in Mexico governor race Mon, Jun 8, 2015

    A foul-mouthed rancher nicknamed "El Bronco" shook up Mexico's midterm elections, riding a wave of discontent with political parties to become the first independent to win a governorship. More »

  • 'El Bronco' rides Mexican discontent into election
    'El Bronco' rides Mexican discontent into election Sat, Jun 6, 2015

    "El Bronco" curses at campaign rallies, wears cowboy hats while riding horses and vows to clean up Mexico's corruption-plagued political system if he becomes the first independent to be elected governor. More »

  • Dissenting socialists urge Venezuela to investigate corruption Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - Dissenting and former members of Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party on Wednesday requested the government investigate alleged multi-billion dollar frauds they say have flourished under the South American OPEC country's strict currency controls. Marea Socialista, a small group of leftist intellectuals, as well as fringe members of the Socialist Party, say corrupt companies and complicit officials are gaming a currency system designed to control imports ranging from foods to medicines. Under the complex controls set up in 2003 by the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, companies and individuals apply for access to dollars at preferential exchange rates. More »

  • Venezuela's Maduro suggests Maradona as FIFA president Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday suggested that Argentine football legend Diego Maradona become the next FIFA president, hours after a deepening football scandal spurred the resignation of the group's top official. Sepp Blatter stepped down as FIFA president less than a week after charges by U.S. prosecutors linked nine football officials and five sports media and promotions executives to more than $150 million in bribes. "The president of the international football federation should be Diego Armando Maradona or someone like him," said Maduro during his weekly televised address. More »

  • Maverick Mexican politician threatens status quo in election
    Maverick Mexican politician threatens status quo in election Sun, May 31, 2015

    By Gabriela Lopez MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) - "One dead son, one kidnapped two-year-old daughter and 2,800 bullet holes in my truck" is no typical campaign slogan. Then again, the man who may become the first state governor in modern Mexico without a political party is no typical politician. Jaime Rodriguez, alias "El Bronco," would cause one of the biggest upsets in Mexican political history if his anti-establishment campaign claims the wealthy northern state of Nuevo Leon in midterm elections to be held next Sunday. More »

  • Venezuelan opposition holds rallies for imprisoned leaders
    Venezuelan opposition holds rallies for imprisoned leaders Sat, May 30, 2015

    Thousands of Venezuelan opposition sympathizers rallied on Saturday in support of leaders jailed last year in connection with months of violent protests against socialist President Nicolas Maduro. Opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez, arrested for leading the protests, called for the rally in a prison-filmed video in which he also announced a hunger stike and issued a set of demands including the release of other anti-government activists. "The regime wants to divide us, I vow unity," said Lilian Tintori, Lopez's wife told the crowd of demonstrators, many of whom were clad in white to symbolize non-violent protest. More »

  • Venezuela parliament head Cabello denies drug accusations
    Venezuela parliament head Cabello denies drug accusations Wed, May 20, 2015

    By Corina Pons and Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - The Venezuelan government's second most powerful figure, Diosdado Cabello, denied on Tuesday any involvement in the drug trade after U.S. media reports that he and other officials were under investigation for trafficking and money laundering. Stories in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times outlined long-simmering accusations from the United States that the governments of President Nicolas Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, have facilitated cocaine shipments. "It would never occur to us to get involved in something that would hurt young people," the National Assembly head and No. 2 in the ruling Socialist Party told Venezuela's parliament. More »

  • Venezuela's parliament boss blasts report of drug trafficking Tue, May 19, 2015

    Venezuela's powerful parliamentary chief, Diosdado Cabello, on Tuesday slammed a Wall Street Journal report that U.S. authorities are investigating him and other senior officials for possible cocaine trafficking and money laundering. "It would never occur to us to get involved in something that would hurt young people," he said in a speech to the Socialist-controlled National Assembly. "Those who today accuse me today of drug trafficking should present one piece of evidence, just one," he told the assembly, which chanted "We're all Diosdado" and pushed a motion to support Cabello, lauding him as a "hero of the fatherland." Citing more than 12 people familiar with the probes, the newspaper on Monday said federal prosecutors in New York and Miami and a Drug Enforcement Administration unit were gathering evidence from former cocaine traffickers, Venezuelan military defectors and people once close to top Venezuelan government officials. More »

  • Venezuela opposition holds primaries for high-stakes parliament vote
    Venezuela opposition holds primaries for high-stakes parliament vote Sun, May 17, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's opposition coalition held primaries on Sunday for this year's high-stakes parliamentary election, its best shot in over a decade at recouping the National Assembly at one of the ruling Socialist Party's lowest ebbs. With Venezuela in recession, annual inflation possibly heading to triple digits, basic goods from milk to medicines running short, and crime rates sky-high, government candidates may face a backlash. More »

  • Venezuela parliament leader squeezes media bosses over drugs story
    Venezuela parliament leader squeezes media bosses over drugs story Thu, May 14, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's powerful parliament head Diosdado Cabello has sought a travel ban on some media bosses he is suing for slander over reproducing a story from a Spanish newspaper accusing him of running a drug ring. Cabello sued opposition-leaning newspapers El Nacional and Tal Cual and website La Patilla for picking up an article by Spanish newspaper ABC alleging his former security chief had fled to the United Sates with evidence the Socialist Party's No. 2 controlled a military-run drug cartel. Opposition leaders and U.S. officials have for years made accusations of money-laundering and drug-trafficking against the governments of President Nicolas Maduro and predecessor Hugo Chavez. More »

  • Venezuela parliamentary elections to be held in fourth quarter
    Venezuela parliamentary elections to be held in fourth quarter Sun, May 10, 2015

    By Eyanir Chinea CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela will hold parliamentary elections in the last quarter of this year and the exact date will be announced soon, the head of the National Electoral Council (CNE) said on Sunday. Socialist president Nicolas Maduro is under growing pressure over the 2015 elections, especially after leftist ally and regional heavyweight Brazil on Thursday urged its neighbour to set a date. We're going to announce it very soon," Tibisay Lucena said in an interview with the Televen television channel. Luis Emilio Rondon, a CNE official, said on Friday the elections will be held at the end of November or the beginning of December. More »

  • Venezuela's dissenting socialists deepen rift with Maduro
    Venezuela's dissenting socialists deepen rift with Maduro Fri, May 8, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - A dissenting faction of Venezuela's Socialist Party is seeking to put forward its own candidates in this year's parliamentary election, deepening a rift with President Nicolas Maduro's unpopular administration. Marea Socialista, or "Socialist Tide", a small group of leftist intellectuals, has accuses Maduro's government of spawning corruption and bureaucracy and betraying the legacy of the late Hugo Chavez. Officials have ignored or attacked these criticisms, Marea Socialista says, further alienating the fringe group ahead of the election, for which the government has not set a date. "We don't identify with the current behaviour of the Socialist Party," said Nicmer Evans, a leader and spokesman for the group. More »

  • Brazil increases pressure on Venezuela to set election date
    Brazil increases pressure on Venezuela to set election date Fri, May 8, 2015

    Brazil urged Venezuela's government on Thursday to set a date for a parliamentary election as soon as possible, stepping up pressure on its leftist ally and neighbour to resolve a simmering political crisis. Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira said he met with Venezuelan government officials this week and told them a date must be set quickly for the National Assembly election that is meant to be held before the end of the year. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's opponents see the parliamentary election as a chance to capitalise on widespread discontent over a deepening economic crisis and advance towards ending more than 15 years of socialist rule. Surveys show Venezuela's opposition leading in projections of voters' intentions and Maduro's popularity has slipped since he took office two years ago after the death of Hugo Chavez. More »

  • 'Cuban 5' spies in Venezuela to pay tribute to Chavez
    'Cuban 5' spies in Venezuela to pay tribute to Chavez Mon, May 4, 2015

    The Cuban spies whose release by the United States helped pave the way for its thaw with Cuba traveled to Venezuela Monday to pay tribute to late leftist firebrand Hugo Chavez. More »

  • Spanish rebel party Podemos seeks second wind
    Spanish rebel party Podemos seeks second wind Sun, May 3, 2015

    Spain's anti-austerity party Podemos, whose meteoric rise has upended the country's politics, is seeking a second wind as an internal crisis over strategy hits and polls show its popularity may have peaked. More »

  • Venezuela to nationalize food distribution
    Venezuela to nationalize food distribution Sat, May 2, 2015

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has promised to nationalize food distribution in the South American nation beset with record shortages of basic goods, runaway inflation and an escalating economic crisis. More »

  • Podemos co-founder resigns in Spanish rebel party's first crisis
    Podemos co-founder resigns in Spanish rebel party's first crisis Fri, May 1, 2015

    One of the founders of Spain's anti-austerity Podemos party unexpectedly resigned, plunging the poll-topping upstart into its first major crisis ahead of key elections this year. More »

  • Venezuela's reserves fall to 12-year low
    Venezuela's reserves fall to 12-year low Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    Venezuela said Wednesday its foreign exchange reserves have fallen 14 percent since the beginning of the year, to $18.99 billion, their lowest level in almost 12 years More »

  • Venezuela state oil firm's earnings fall 4.3% in 2014
    Venezuela state oil firm's earnings fall 4.3% in 2014 Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    An oil platform by Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA, in Orinoco, Venezuela, on July 28, 2011 More »

  • Jailed opposition mayor may be granted home arrest in Venezuela
    Jailed opposition mayor may be granted home arrest in Venezuela Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    Venezuelan authorities requested on Friday that jailed opposition mayor Antonio Ledezma be granted home arrest due to medical problems, a move that could soften international pressure over his case. Ledezma, 59, a lawyer and hardline opposition leader who is mayor of Caracas, was jailed in February, accused of conspiring to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government. He is the highest-profile Maduro foe arrested after fellow opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, detained last year for his role in protests that brought months of violence causing 43 deaths. Many Maduro supporters loathe Ledezma, whom they call "The Vampire." They do not forgive him for supporting a short-lived 2002 coup against former leader Hugo Chavez. More »

  • Woman who hit Venezuela leader with mango rewarded with new home
    Woman who hit Venezuela leader with mango rewarded with new home Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - A woman who bashed President Nicolas Maduro on the head with a mango has been promised a new house for her troubles in a surreal tropical tale that has gone viral in Venezuela. "Marleny Olivo had a problem with her house. ... I've approved an apartment for you, Marleny, as part of the 'Grand Venezuelan Housing Mission'," he added, vowing to eat the mango. Venezuela's ever ebullient cybersphere did not miss a beat, with the president's populist gesture drawing admiration and derision, plus plenty of jokes. More »

  • Venezuela receives new $5 billion loan from China
    Venezuela receives new $5 billion loan from China Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Venezuela has received a new $5 billion (3.35 billion pounds) loan from China, President Nicolas Maduro said, part of an oil-for-loans deal that has become a key source of financing for the cash-strapped OPEC nation that is struggling with low crude prices. Under the arrangement created by late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, China provides funding for development projects and Venezuela repays in shipments of oil and fuel. An official at state oil company PDVSA had told Reuters in March that Venezuela was in talks for two financing deals with China for $5 billion each, one for economic development and the other for oil investment. China has lent Venezuela more than $45 billion since the two countries set up the oil-for-loans agreement. More »

  • Venezuela receives $5 bn funding from China
    Venezuela receives $5 bn funding from China Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Inflation reached 68.5% in Venezuela in 2014 and many basic goods are in short supply More »

  • Maduro marks two years in power in tough times
    Maduro marks two years in power in tough times Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    Embattled President Nicolas Maduro marks two years in power Sunday with Venezuela's deep pockets pinched hard by plummeting oil prices, Latin America's highest inflation and simmering anger on the streets. More »

  • Uruguayan leftist writer Eduardo Galeano dies at 74
    Uruguayan leftist writer Eduardo Galeano dies at 74 Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, an icon of the Latin American left who chronicled the region's injustices in a career that spanned decades and crossed genres, died Monday at age 74. More »